Nnedi Okorafor
Binti Cover



If there's a single word to describe how Nnedi Okorafor's Binti reads, it's "refreshing." It's short, accessible work of science fiction that eschews the usual cast of western characters, while adopting a universe that reminded me of William Kotzwinkle's ET: The Green Planet. Space travel is by organic vehicles and aliens are as foreign as the creatures of the deep. The technology, and the culture, relies on principles of math and science that are steeped in the West African culture of Okorafor's heritage, and the flavor that it gives Binti is delicious.

Nominated for a Hugo (Novella), Binti is a quick read, and despite solid writing and being draped in a culture foreign to most western readers, the plot was a tad predictable for anyone but the most beginning reader. On her way to Oozma University, across the dark universe, Binti finds her ship beset by the alien Meduse. Before long, the future of civilized space will rely on her to find a way to peace. But will the price cost Binti to lose all that she is?

Okorafor's writing is clean and clear, and I look forward to reading her further, and I credit Binti for giving me a taste of her style. I liked it, and I want to add more of it to my reading diet.